The Ford Endeavour has long been my large SUV of choice for multiple reasons. It has always felt excellent in terms of handling, drivability, ride comfort, and high-speed manners. In fact, for me, the biggest highlight was its inherent driving appeal, with its torquey 3.2-litre engine. I’ve really enjoyed driving this generation of the Endeavour, and have had some great times driving it both on and off-road.
In its latest avatar though, the Endeavour has gone through a serious heart transplant, although it looks more or less the same on the outside. To meet the BS6 emission norms, its 3.2-litre engine has been replaced with a brand-new 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit. Also, the 6-speed automatic has given way to the world’s first 10-speed automatic gearbox. Of course, with the capacity reduction also comes a reduction in power figures – the new 2.0 unit produces 168bhp and 420Nm of torque – about 30bhp and 50Nm less than that of the old 3.2 unit.
Now, during regular driving, you do feel the drop in power, but only if you’ve driven the older engine. If you haven’t, the Endeavour will feel sprightly, for the engine responds quickly and the ride and handling balance is still very much there. The new 10-speed gearbox, though, is a bit of a hit and a miss. While it is quick shifting and responsive, it normally tends to sit about 2 gears higher than needed. And when you push the pedal for a quick burst of acceleration, the gearbox pauses before it downshifts. This can be quite bothersome in everyday driving if you have a heavy right foot – it seems that there is such a thing as too many gears, after all.
But, other than the somewhat perplexing gearbox – of course, it’s set up the way it is for better fuel efficiency – the Endeavour continues to retain its other qualities. It still features class-leading ride quality, excellent practicality, immense off-road capability, and fun-to-drive appeal. Now, if only I could have the new Endeavour with as much power as the older 3.2, it would be nigh on perfect.